What is a Business Partner and why do we need one?

Espresso Tutorials

Fabian Bentz

et_cover_webshop_300_03Excerpt from Credit Management in SAP S/4HANA by Marjorie Wright.

You may be wondering exactly what a Business Partner is and why we need one. Don’t we already have customer and vendor master data in SAP? In this chapter, we explore the Business Partner master record, and its relationship to the older master data model.The Business Partner is a cross application master record in SAP. It allows for one master record (one account number) to identify the people and/or companies with which we have some kind of business relationship. This could consist of one, or several, relationships.

Some examples of Business Partners are: 

  • customers 
  • vendors 
  • employees 
  • prospects 
  • agents 
  • borrowers

The Business Partner is not a new master record. SAP applications such as Contract Accounts Receivable, Loan Management, CRM, and FSCM have for many years incorporated this master record.

With S4 HANA Enterprise (1610 onward), the Business Partner replaces the traditional customer and vendor master record design in SAP. If you enter the “legacy” transaction codes in the command field (i.e. FD0x, VD0x, XD0x, FK0x, MK0x, and XK0x), or if you select them in the application menu, the system returns a message redirecting you to the Business Partner (BP) transaction (see Figure 2.1).

Figure 2.1: Redirection to transaction BP

This new BP transaction gives a single point of entry for creating and maintaining all Business Partners across multiple components. SAP’s previous customer/vendor model was limited and could not support the following additional benefits: 

  • multiple addresses for a single Business Partner 
  • time dependency of attributes 
  • a single Business Partner as both a customer and a vendor

Keep reading!

This guide dives into the basic SAP S/4HANA configuration settings for FSCM Credit Management. Beginners seeking to better understand the features, as well as consultants looking for information on how to configure the system, will find the information they need. Each chapter contains specific knowledge for both business users and technical support staff. What exactly is a Business Partner and why do you need one? Explore the Business Partner master record and its relationship to the older master data model. Review settings required in the SAP customizing menu (IMG) for organizational structure and master data, as well as credit limit checking. Walk through the documented credit decision process in SAP. Review integration points with Accounts Receivable (FI-AR) and Sales and Distribution (SD) in depth. Learn more about additional functionality available including credit limit requests and credit exposure updates.

– Basic configuration settings
– Integration points with FI-AR and SD
– Organizational structure and master data
– Business Partner master record

Start reading now!

majorieMarjorie Wright is an accomplished subject matter expert, author, and speaker, and is the founder of Simply FI-CO, LLC, a boutique SAP training consulting company. She is an education consultant in the components of financial accounting, management accounting, and financial supply chain management. With more than 25 years of training and accounting experience across multiple industries, she has conducted training for more than 3,500 learners in various environments.